John Spellar, the minister for transport, has outlined proposals for the provision of a cycling fund of up to£1m per year over the next two years to provide support for a range of cycling projects across the country.
The National Cycling Board will now consider the proposals, presented at its inaugural meeting yesterday, and further details of the fund and invitations to bid will be announced in the next few weeks.
The NCS Board remit covers England and was established to help ensure the implementation of the National Cycling Strategy's (NCS) outputs, aims and objectives. The Board will focus on key tasks identified annually by the National Cycle Forum (NCF). This will involve co-ordinating and integrating contributions to the NCS from all relevant sectors, and monitoring progress on NCS outputs and targets.
The Board has overall responsibility for the recommendation of day-to-day policy, advice and guidance to local authorities and government departments, and will also be responsible for proposing revision to the NCS as necessary in the light of wider developments.
At the first full meeting of the board, John Spellar said:
'I am pleased that the board is now fully operational, and has a clear focus on the task ahead.
'Dynamic action is needed to implement the National Cycling Strategy. I and my Department will give full support to the board in identifying and unblocking obstacles to progress.'
The chairman of the NCS board, Steven Norris said:
'We have been able to assemble a strong board membership, and I am confident that we shall make rapid progress in opening up opportunities for people to cycle more.'
Nine people have so far agreed to serve on the Board:
Professor Siân Griffiths
They are not representative of particular organisations, but have been selected for their knowledge of issues that the Board will need to engage, and their willingness to contribute to making cycling a mainstream form of transport. There may be one or two further appointments over the next few weeks.
A full list of the board membership, with biographical notes, is
1. The NCS board is one outcome of a restructuring of the
mechanisms for carrying forward and implementing the National
Cycling Strategy in England. The board will meet at approximately
2-monthly intervals, and will report annually to a stakeholders'
meeting of those representing the interests of cycling and
2. The National Cycling Strategy was launched in 1996. It aims to
establish a culture favourable to the increased use of bicycles for
all ages. The central target in the strategy is to quadruple the
amount of cycling trips (based on 1996 figures), by 2012. The
Strategy is a consensus document that was developed in a spirit of
partnership between organisations in the public, private and
3. The appointment of Steven Norris as Chairman of the NCS Board
was announced on 22 October 2001.
BOARD MEMBERSHIP AND BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES
Steven Norris (NCS board chairman) is a former Conservative MP, and
the transport minister who established the National Cycling Strategy.
He has served as a Conservative councillor, stood as the Conservative
candidate for London mayor and is a former vice-chairman of the
Conservative Party. Mr Norris is a patron of Transport 2000 and
Sustrans. His commercial interests include Citigate and First Group
London bus operations. He is a director of a number of
transport-related companies; an advisor to the Abbot Group plc and to
Central Railways Ltd; and president of the Motor Cycle Industry
Association. He is chairman of the Prince Michael International Road
Phillip Darnton, was educated at Oxford where he read 'Greats' before
joining Unilever plc. During a career of 30 years with Unilever, he
worked initially in marketing functions, before moving into general
management as president of Lever Brothers Canada in 1987. From there
he worked for six years in Brazil as the managing director of
Unilever's largest soaps and detergents' business, with a turnover of
£750m. After a brief spell in London as an advisor to the
chairman of Unilever, he was invited to join the board of Reckitt and
Coleman plc as the director for global marketing. He is presently
executive chairman of Raleigh UK, having been the managing director
for the past two years. Aged 58, he lives in London; his leisure
interests centre on music and the arts.
Professor Siân Griffiths OBE is senior fellow in public health at
Oxford University, and visiting professor at Oxford Brookes
University. Until recently she was also director of public health and
health policy for the Oxfordshire Health Authority. She has authored
and edited a variety of health-related publications. Between 1995 and
1999 she was co-chair of the Association for Public Health and also
treasurer of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine. She is now
president of the faculty. Professor Griffiths is currently a board
member of the New Opportunities Fund, a member of the National Cancer
Taskforce and is involved in several local charities. She has
recently completed a part-time secondment to the Rough Sleepers Unit
as their health advisor.
John Grimshaw MBE studied Engineering at Cambridge University before
joining contractors Taylor Woodrow; doing a spell with VSO in Uganda;
and then joining consultants Mander, Raikes and Marshall based in
Bristol. In 1980 he left to work full-time designing and developing
quality cycle routes, often on the alignments of abandoned railways.
These immensely popular projects led to the formation of Sustrans
Ltd, a registered charity, to carry out practical demonstration
projects pointing towards a sustainable transport future. The most
significant of these has been the£210m National Cycle
Network, partly funded by the Millennium Commission.
Oliver Hatch was born in London in 1950, and became involved in
transport issues in 1980, joining the London Cycling Campaign (LCC).
On the international level he is Director of the 'Velo-city' series
of international cycle planning conferences, and executive director
of programs for Velo-Mondial - an organisation that seeks to promote
cycling at a global level. In the UK, he is the parliamentary officer
for the Cyclists' Public Affairs Group (C-PAG), and is the secretary
for the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group at Westminster. He is a
regular city cyclist, uses public transport, walks and also owns a
Alan Jones is chief executive of Test Valley BC, a post which he has
held for the last 5 years. Previously he was director of development
at Newbury DC. His background is in town and country planning and
he has a specialist interest in transport matters. He has written
green transport plans and promoted the principles of sustainable
transport in both the public and private sectors. He is a keen cyclist,
both on and off-road, and he has toured extensively in a number of
countries around the world. He lives with his wife and daughters in
Roger Horton has been involved in transport since being elected to
Sandwell MBC in 1975. He is a past chair of technical services,
environment and development services, and Sandwell and Dudley
Transport Users Consultative Committee. Roger has been a member of
the West Midlands Transport Authority over 14 years and during that
time has held various posts and travelled to many countries to view
new forms of transport. He was a local government representative on
the National Cycle Network Steering Committee and a director of West
Midlands Special Needs Transport. His hobbies include photography,
travel, and model construction.
William Rickett became director general of transport strategy, roads,
local and maritime in the department for transport, local government
and the regions in July 2000. He joined the department of energy in
1975 after studying mathematics, physics and the history and
philosophy of science at Cambridge. He spent three years as private
secretary to the prime minister from 1981 to 1983, and two years on
secondment to the corporate finance department of the merchant bank,
Kleinwort Benson Limited. He was appointed director of finance in the
department of the environment in 1993 and director of town and
country planning in February 1997. In May 1998, he was promoted to be
deputy secretary in charge of the economic and domestic secretariat
in the cabinet office. In January 2000, he was appointed head of the
integrated transport taskforce in the DETR and published the 10 Year
Plan for Transport in July that year. He was born in 1953, is married
with two children, and lives in London.
Lynn Sloman is assistant director of the environmental group
Transport 2000, and a special adviser to the Board of Transport for
London. She is also a trustee of the Environmental Transport
Association. She has a particular interest in policy relating to
cycling, walking, liveable streets and road safety. Before working
for Transport 2000 she did policy research on science and
environmental issues, and community work in inner London. She has a
doctorate in earth sciences from the University of Oxford.
Christian Wolmar is a writer and broadcaster specialising in
transport. He has a fortnightly column in Rail magazine and
contributes to a wide variety of other publications. He is a keen
cyclist who uses his bicycle as his principal means of transport. He
was chair of the National Cycling Forum's intermodality working
group. He is a regular broadcaster on both television and radio. His
book on rail privatisation and the consequences of the Hatfield train
disaster, Broken Rail, was published in October and other recent
books include the Great British Railway Disaster, a humorous look at
rail privatisation, and Stagecoach, a history of the company.